Will My Health Insurance Pay For Weight Loss Programs?

weightAbout 20% of Americans are currently on a diet according to NPD’s National Eating Trends. In these times of changing health insurance guidelines, the question is often posed as to whether or not insurance carriers will reimburse consumers for their participation in weight loss programs. The quick answer is that “it depends upon your carrier and the health incentives provided by your plan.” You didn’t really think it was going to be a “yes” or “no” answer did you? Let me explain.

It would certainly make sense that a lifestyle based on a healthy diet, good nutrition, and an exercise program are all elements that contribute to better health, increased stress reduction, and greater longevity . In addition, the medical community touts preventative medicine in combination with diet and exercise as a means of thwarting major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, type two diabetes and other serious illnesses.

Since most weight loss programs require a doctor’s permission before starting, the introduction of a plan for good nutrition, counseling and monitoring of food intake, physical activity and a food plan during, as well as a maintenance plan afterward, it would make sense that every insurer should assist the consumer in paying for their chosen weight loss program. However, this is not a standard practice and varies depending upon your insurer, your plan and the yearly allowances for healthy lifestyle incentives. Some insurers do actually pay toward health club memberships while others offer discounts per plan year and still others provide a single lifetime benefit.

While commercial weight loss programs such as those seen advertised on TV can be accessed online, at work or via attendance at weekly meetings, some carriers have their own online portal which provides resources for assisting their members in his or her efforts at weight loss.

Regardless of the specific plan providing your health insurance coverage, and the program you chose to support a healthy lifestyle, to find out what reimbursements are available to you, it is always best to consult your policy before you make the choice.

However, even if your individual health insurance coverage may not cover this, don’t let that affect your determination to participate in a weight loss program because you are definitely worth it!

- Karen Skoler, CPCU

1 Response

Leave a comment

From the first time I spoke with Lori Halloran at Petschauer Insurance, I knew she was a special person. She is a woman that conducts herself professionally, with compassion and full knowledge of all types of insurance Petschauer has to offer. While speaking with her, as she explained and answered all of my questions, I felt like I was speaking with family…which is another way to describe this company. She has a way of making very confusing decisions so simple and easy to understand. I even added another insurance policy to my two renewal policies because of her. My last renewals could have been processed via mail but I really wanted to take the time to drive and meet this wonderful woman face to face. She greeted me with this huge beautiful smile, which matched her personality perfectly. So, I just had to go back another time just to say “Hi” and bring her flowers in appreciation for all her help and also celebrate a new friendship. The Petschauer “Family” has been there for me since my first policy when I was 19 years old, and now I’m a “senior”. I’ve been with them forever and don’t plan on going anywhere else. Thank you Lori for your dedication and to the rest of the Petschauer staff.
Jane Deitlein
Quality attentive service is hard to find, but at Petschauer Insurance that’s what you can expect from their always friendly staff . It’s what we’ve experienced for all these many years.
John from Forest Pork Store Inc.
Petschauer is great. I never had a problem.  They always call me back. Fabulous employees who are always willing to help.
Marty Bruno
My company has called on Petschauer Insurance for many years for its insurance needs: liability, liquor, auto, etc. Working with Erwin and his team has been a pleasure from beginning to present. They are quick to answer any question and provide sound advice. I have always felt that my and our needs are important to them, in theory and practice. They go the extra mile, and we continue to be well served.
Stephen Kennard from Canard Inc.
My family and I are long time personal and business clients of Petschauer Insurance. We sincerely appreciate your responsiveness and the quality of service that Petschauer provides. We have recommended your company to others because of our satisfaction with your service. We look forward to doing business with you for years to come.
Greg Weiss
I have been with Petschauer Insurance for a long time. My account executive Lori Halloran is like family to me: she is always there when I need her and is very knowledgeable and understanding. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my insurance needs.
Vincent Falcone
I have had the pleasure of working with various members of the Petschauer Team, both personally and professionally for 20+ years. And I couldn’t have done it without them. They go above and beyond. Heidi, Narima, Sherri and LuAnn don’t just bring to us the products they offer, they help me to understand the specifics and evaluate what makes the most sense for me, my family and my employees. I always feel I have a better understanding of an industry I have no understanding of so that I can evaluate the offerings in a smart way, cost effective way. They are proactive with renewals, allowing us the time to do our due diligence, evaluate our plans to be sure we’re properly covered and are always there to listen and help with special circumstances. Their kindness, caring and willingness to lend an ear when needed, really makes them stand apart from the rest. Heidi and her family have built a beautiful culture at Petschauer and I highly recommend them to anyone I meet.
Jamie Stedman-Novo
Spence-Chapin has had the pleasure of working with the wonderful John Petschauer, Inc. for 15+ years. They have always provided excellent service to us–with great knowledge, expertise, and patience — even in the most challenging situations. There has not been one time when they have not been immediately accessible to us, even at a moment’s notice. We thank them for their work and celebrate their 60th anniversary, while looking forward to working with them for another 60 years and beyond!
Spence-Chapin
I have worked with various individuals at Petschauer and have found each to be responsive, courteous, and thoughtful. Each year, the contact for my auto policy proactively seeks new bids and has consistently saved me money on my policy.
Ryan Huber
I have been with Petschauer Insurance for over twenty five years. The staff is knowledgeable and professional. Petschauer writes both my personal and commercial insurance and they provide excellent counseling. I truly trust the firm and their staff. Thank you.
Mike Matonti